Breeding on the Edge: Challenges and Adaptability of Urban-breeding Chickadees
For the past 20 years, Dr. Ken Otter of the University of Northern BC and his team have been interested in how features of the habitats in which chickadees settle affects both their ability to communicate with one another and their ability to successfully breed. Their original investigations focused on how practices like logging/regeneration of our forests affected how chickadees perceived and adapted to the ‘quality’ of the habitat they found themselves in, but over the past decade this has shifted to an interest in how birds adjust to one of the largest anthropogenic disturbances our habitats face – Urbanization. Chickadees in general are considered ‘urban adaptors’, and are a common facet of our suburban neighbourhoods, taking readily to feeders and artificial nestboxes. But does attracting these birds into our gardens lead them to unforeseen challenges?